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“Spectacular rooms and facilities” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

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Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   100 Dorado Beach Drive, Dorado 00646-2000, Puerto Rico   |  
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Special Offer
$100 Credit + Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 3 hotels in Dorado
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Spectacular rooms and facilities”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

The Ritz has obviously made a huge investment in this property. The pool was gorgeous and the room was one of the nicest we have ever stayed in - the front of the room was all glass - showcasing the vast ocean view. The bathroom had an indoor and outdoor shower and a soaking tub. The decor was monochromatic which allowed the views and room architecture to shine.

The food was very good. The pool side restaurant had very good food options (chicken or beef skewers, a lobster cobb salad...both nice alternatives to the burger and fries that were also quite good). Mi Casa had a breakfast buffet every morning but the breakfast favorite for our family was the Egg dish "like Jose's mother made" - try it, you won't be sorry.

The spa is huge and gorgeous. The golf courses were a big hit as well.

The cab ride is about 40 minutes, I would recommend stopping and buying staples such as chips and beer/liquor. The mini bar prices are outrageous. A small bottle of Belvedere was $75.

The staff was helpful. The only hiccup was that our rooms were not as specified in the reservation, but this was straightened out within an hour.

I would highly recommend this very special resort.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (114)
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English first
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Dorado Beach resort for our babymoon. It was the most relaxing luxorious, private, and romantic experience. From the food, to the staff, the room, and the amazing grounds there is nothing I would change. I have stayed in various 5 star hotels and this by far takes the cake with their level of service second to none. Our embajador Jaime was excellent even taking the initiative to make our last night at the hotel extra romantic by setting flowers on the bed filling the tub with a bubble bath while my husband and I were at dinner. It was excellent from start to finish. I just can't wait to come back here!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

I spent the whole flight back from Dorado Beach trying to decide what rating I would give the resort and to be honest I still haven't decided. Perhaps 3 and a half fits best. There were some great things about the resort and I had a wonderful time but still left feeling underwhelmed.

First the positive--the landscaping is breathtaking. It's impossible to take a bad picture at this place and every picture you take and send to friends and family back home makes them jealous. This place really does look like paradise. The pool by Positivo was very relaxing and there is no better feeling than sitting at the edge of the pool with a beer in your hand overlooking the beach and the sunset. In addition the staff that we encountered as we toured the property were very friendly and always willing to help. The property is very large and we got lost more than once on our bikes. There was always someone with a golf cart riding by at the right time to either give us directions or a lift.

The food was absolutely wonderful as well. The snapper at Encanto was the best fish I have ever had and the wasabi creme fraiche on top is making my mouth water even now as I write this. And again you can't go wrong eating a delicious dinner sitting almost right on the beach with a beautiful girl sitting across from you.

The trip was very relaxing and even my girlfriend who is petrified of flying wound down quickly once we were on the property and enjoyed herself. She was also in love with the bathtub and was thrilled when we returned to Mi Casa for breakfast on the second morning there and the hostess remembered her name.

As for the negative--it's not that there was anything really bad about the resort, and I don't even know if it's the resort's fault that I left somewhat underwhelmed, but I did. There were just some minor touches that could've made this the best trip I've ever been on. For example, we never saw our ambassador except for the very first day when he took our bags to the room then told us to turn on the tv and follow the prompts if we needed anything. Speaking of the tv, it broke. Twice. Not that we spent very much time watching tv because we didn't but it was nice to be able to unwind at the end of a packed day. The first time we got it fixed, the second time was the night before we were leaving so I just didn't mess with it again. The bed had a weird hump in the middle reminiscent of a dance chaperone sticking a balloon in between a couple to make sure they don't get too close. Also I realize it's "island time" but it really did take forever to get food and drinks that you ordered at the pool and it took 30 minutes to get a golf cart when we were looking to get a ride to another part of the resort. We ended up just leaving and going ourselves. Again once we did get service it was always friendly and with a smile.

So all in all it was still a great trip. I would absolutely return (and plan on it) as I think the resort deserves another chance. For the money it could've been better with just a few tweaks but we had a wonderful time regardless.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

There isn't anything about the Dorado Beach, Ritz Reserve that I would change. The property located on a former Rockerfeller vacation estate is just beautiful! The swimming pool is amazing, with pool attendants passing out cool towels for relief in the hot sun. Pool cabanas are available for reservation which we took advantage of. The private beach is so calm and refreshing. Trust me you'll have a hard time trying to decide whether to spend the day pool side or out on the shore. The resort fee is well worth it, from water sports, to snorkel gear even bikes to explore the grounds were included.
The only downside was service at the pool and on the beach, it took forever to get our drinks and food. The staff blamed it on being the low season and being understaffed but I just felt like that was a lame excuse.
Anyways the room, amazing! We had our own ocean front, plunge pool room on the east side of the resort. Perfection! Although on the second day there was a lot of grass in the pool after they had maintained the grounds, not cool. The room had a large tub and an indoor shower as well as an outdoor (very private) rainwater head shower. It was an extremely luxurious one of a kind experience. We were definitely blown away.
If you're looking for a place to stay that you could just relax, be romantic and not have to leave the hotel, this is the place. It's the perfect hideaway/getaway. We'll definitely be back!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

We stayed at the Ritz Dorado Beach in June 2013 to celebrate an anniversary. It is a bit of a drive from San Juan airport, about 40 minutes, but once you arrive it is well worth the journey. Time stood still while we were there.

ROOM: Room was not huge but clean and modern with VERY high ceilings. Bathroom is very modern with a large standing tub and outdoor shower. The complimentary bath products smelled DIVINE and made my hair feel as good as any high-end shampoo/conditioner. Patio doors opened up to a very nice seating area and plunge pool which was TOTALLY worth the extra money. When initially booking I figured we would not use the plunge pool with the beach at our doorstep, so I booked a balcony room. But once we checked in we quickly upgraded to a plunge room and wound up getting our money's worth! Especially loved enjoying a cocktail after dark in a private pool right outside our room. Pool is not big, probably 10'x5'.

STAFF/SERVICE: Staff was friendly, though often confused about what should have been routine questions. The service was good but not amazing. My husband's parents sent us a very nice bottle of champagne and strawberries one evening and the staff failed to inform us that this was from them. Instead we got a card with the champagne saying "Congratulations on your Anniversary...Thank you for choosing us...Warm Wishes...". Of course we assumed it was a gift from hotel and called the front desk to say thank you to which they said, you're welcome, enjoy. It wasn't until the next morning after speaking with his parents that my husband realized the bottle was actually sent by them. Not a good situation and not handled very well either. They could have comped at the VERY least the chocolate covered strawberries but just said a quick sorry and pretended it never happened. Kind of strange that our entire stay nothing was mentioned about our anniversary which I informed them about while booking. These hiccups are probably due to the fact that the resort is newly opened. The service here definitely needs improvement but we were pretty easy-going on this trip so it didn't affect us very much. I hope in time the service will meet and exceed expectations.

FOOD: Food was amazing, tasty, fresh and beautifully presented. Room service was a little slow. We went to Mi Casa on our first night and really enjoyed the flavors and creativity of the food. Everything was delish! The fois gras, house chips with tamarind dipping sauce and cono de queso were standouts, but pretty much everything we ordered was delicious! Wait staff ws very friendly and informed. The Mi Casa chocolate dessert was rich and decadent and really cute in presentation. You can order food on the beach but need to find a server which can take a while and often entailed a bit of a search. Encanto Grill by the pool had excellent food and views. Good drinks.

BEACH/POOL: Beautiful beach with man-made rock wall to keep waters calm. The resort was not full when we were at the resort, so we practically had a private beach. The walk from the room to the beach was about 30 seconds since we were on the first floor. We did need to bring/set-up our own towels but I'm sure if we had requested someone to set up our chairs they would have done so. There is no beach attendant. The pool is very nice. Nothing amazing but open to the beach with spectacular views and a bar/restaurant and little cafe right there.

GROUNDS: Grounds are beautiful, tropical, green, clean and constantly being manicured. You will see staff all day tending to the plants and grass. There is a lovely golf course which we never used. There are paths throughout which were fabulous for bike riding (ask for a bike upon checking in and you have it for your entire stay).The tree outside the spa is GORGEOUS! Looks like something out of a Tim Burton movie. The resort is simply a world away. Paradise.

SPA: Ah, the spa. It is like walking into another moment in time. Pretty much everything is outside, including check in and showers. Even the treatment rooms are encased in glass so you always feel one with your natural surroundings. The relaxation room is very zen with yummy teas and dried fruits to enjoy. The products smell like HEAVEN. They did mess up a reservation and seemed a little disorganized at the desk, but were able to accomodate us anyway.

The reason I am giving 4 stars instead of 5 is because the resort still seem to be going through some growing pains. This Ritz is less than a year old and the staff still seems to be learning the ropes. Some snafus throughout our stay, but the overall experience outweighed the mistakes. Hope to return after a few years of perfecting their game.

Room Tip: Make a rezzie at Marmalade in Old San Juan. Great food, drinks and atmosphere...even though it looks...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

The rooms are spectacular and the beach is amazing. Only 7 mile beach at the caymans rivals this beach. What is really fantastic is the rocks that break the waves allowing enough waves to be fun but not dangerous. The water was warm and beautiful. We loved swimming and snorkeling here.

We went to the spa first thing and it is an must do at this resort. The bamboo and stone massage was great. My husband and I both loved it- it will work out your kinks!! The steam room and relaxation areas were beautiful. You will want to give yourself time to enjoy the facility. I did go back another day for a facial. While the service was great the value was well below what I'd get for the money at other spas.

We took advantage of the bikes and biked throughout our stay. It was fun and a beautiful way to see the property.

The food was really good but extremely overpriced. 20 for just about anything.. I highly recommend the tasting menu at mi casa. Some of it was odd but all but one or two things were fabulous. in regards to service per other comments, it was incredibly slow. We waited over 15 minutes for our last course of our tasting menu. We waited over 30 minutes between our appetizers and meal at the encanto restaurant. And we waited over 30 min for our lunch order at the positivo sand bar. When you are spending that much money n a meal the service should be better.
We had told a few people we were celebrating our anniversary when asked and received no special treatment for that which was also a little surprising at such a high end resort. Even lower scale resorts will do a bottle of wine for the room or a special dessert at a dinner.

The only thing that was really hard about this hotel is doing activities off the property. If you want to see old San Juan or the rainforest or much of anything, it is a really long drive and 150 round trip every time you do it. The traffic is pretty bad so it's a bummer way to spend some of your vacation time. If you just want to hang out at the property there are activities on site and id highly recommend that vs doing a lot of trips to offsite activities.

While this is a gorgeous resort it is very kid friendly. I was surprised by all of the families. We were on an anniversary trip without our children so were looking for more of a couples focused get away. Next time we will bring out kids as this resort is very kid friendly.

Overall a great experience. Beautiful resort. Value for the money is a little low.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

Ok, so here we go! From the second my wife and I set foot on this amazing property our analysis began. I will start of by saying this is the most amazing property in the Caribbean and without a doubt Puerto Rico, it even beats out the Rosewood Mayakoba (only by a small margin and only because of the facility).

We arrived a little early 11:45 am, check in was smooth we were met by the "manager" when we arrived, whom we never saw again . Check in was seamless however our rooms were not ready, they informed us that they would be ready in 45 min (they were not) Additionally there were no free upgrades and usual courtesy offered by high end hotel if available (not this one, however they did let us know if we wanted an upgrade we could pay full price) when we came back to go our rooms we were then informed that would not be ready until 3:00pm, (2 hours later) and asked if we wanted to hang by the pool (of course, why not). We wanted to sit in a cabana (as we were still in our plane cloths) however they informed us that it would cost us additionally to staying the empty cabana while we waited (eventually after telling the waitress the issue, she was very nice and let us stay, BTW this should have been offered to us by the front desk at check in, ( For a Ritz Reserve is should be SOP).

We finally go into our rooms!! yey! and to say they were amazing is an understatement! the only rooms that come close are the Rosewood Mayakoba rooms and these were actually better. We were on the east wing which is more private, but does not have a beach you can sit on, however the beach is a 2 min walk from your room. Overall the facilities are insane!!
So here is a pro and con list for this property, lets start with the pros

PROS:
-Hotel facilities are amazing brand new and just perfect in almost every way, hard to find better anywhere in America or Caribbean.
-Food options are good, you have two options at the main pool and a number of others around the property.
-Mi Casa , insane! Jose Andres restaurant serves b-fast and dinner. You cant get better than that.
-Pool menu is a bit limited, but good (no tuna??)
-The main infinity pool is stunning, they have jacuzzi water beds and it is just big enough to not feel crowded.
-Staff is very friendly nice, they will do anything for you if asked.
-Every Room in on beach and nothing is too far away.
-Spa in beautiful

ROOMS
-Almost the perfect room
-Bed faces the ocean, so when you wake up and open the panels you are looking directly at the water, pretty awesome!
-Bathrooms are immaculate, large soaking tub and outdoor (and indoor) shower (why have an indoor shower?)
-Plunge infinity pool (need I say more) facing the beach.
-Ask for a bike, great way to get around ( great bikes new Trek Mt Bikes) Although took us four requested to get them delivered to the room. (again, not the end the world, but for a Ritz Carlton reserve pretty unacceptable).
-Staff very friendly
-Gym. amazing and close to almost every room
-Never had and issue getting seats by the pool
-Cabana was a great deal, you can reserve one, however you have to order over $150 in drinks and food for the day which is not that hard
-The water sports are close to the main hotel
-They have a small waterpark that the kids will love
-Staff at all the restaurants were SUPER nice!!

Cons:
-Service, service, service ( not up to par for what a reserve should be or any hotel that charges huge $ for rooms).
-Zero upgrades (not the end of the world, every room is great)
-There is supposed to be an ambassador (butler) for you, however he brought us to our room and left never to be seen or heard from again.
-There was no real concierge, from desk acts as one, I guess, but we only figured it out when we got there, they were very helpful and super nice when we did figure it out.
-Informed them of our anniversary weeks before was not in the system and did not have anything waiting because all our pre information was not collected, should not happen at a hotel of this caliber.
-Only issue with the room, was the coffee press, unlike most ultra high-end hotels that have a nespresso machine, they opted for the do it yourself press and hot water boiler. In theory this is nice, however pressing your own coffee, trying to get it right without getting coffee all over the place in not a great way to start the day off. A simple insert and press machine would have been much better.

POOL:
-Only con with the pool was the service, the waitress are super nice, however they are scarce and only really came over when they were flagged down. Again, comes down to service. This is not Mexico, where you'll be waited on hand and foot (should be though). Seems counter productive, since the pool should be a main revenue generator for the hotel, Tip for management, we would have ordered more had someone been there or if there was a way to order via iphone app (like in some new hotels).

-They gave out some snacks at the pool, however its was surprisingly cheap and very sparse, literally (i kid you not) a half grape and tiny slice of mango and a half strawberry, IN A PLASTIC CUP! come on. They did give us Mott ices sticks, but opening was a challenge (again not a big deal at a regular hotel).

OVERALL:

This is an awesome hotel, the facilities are amazing, pool area probably the best I've ever seen, rooms are beautiful, the food options are excellent and the staff was friendly. I would definitely come back, however at the current nightly rates you are not getting bang for your buck. A few tweaks in the service and this hotel can have the rep of a One & Only or a Rosewood (not there yet, but its a new property so give it some time). Overall this hotel is amazing, the pros definitely outweigh the cons and would definitely recommend it.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Address: 100 Dorado Beach Drive, Dorado 00646-2000, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Dorado
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 hotels in Dorado
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve will usher in a new level of luxury travel. This intimate resort retreat will be the first of its kind in the Americas, with its secluded location, intimate accommodations, exclusive amenities, and private butler service. ... more   less 
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